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Versatile One-pot Chicken

When you make a whole chicken in a slow cooker, you are opening up a world of dinnertime possibilities.

One of the easiest and most versatile foods you can cook in your slow cooker is a whole roasting chicken. All it requires is a roasting chicken, your slow cooker and a day’s worth of cooking time. Add a few seasonings, and before you know it, you have a cooked chicken that can be turned into a variety of kid-friendly dishes, such as the Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6-8 hours

1 whole roasting chicken (4-5 lbs.)
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 yellow onion, quartered

­1. Remove skin from chicken and empty the inner cavity of any contents within.
­2. Rinse, then pat chicken dry with a paper towel and place chicken inside the slow cooker.
­3. Blend seasonings in a small bowl. Rub seasoning all over the outside of the chicken.
­4. Place the quartered onion into the slow cooker.
­5. Cook chicken on the low setting for 8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 180°F.
­6. Remove from slow cooker and cut into serving pieces. Serve with a side salad or vegetables and your favorite warm bread or hot, brown rice. Alternatively, when chicken cools, shred and use in a favorite recipe that calls for cooked chicken, such as Buffalo Chicken Pizza (recipe follows).

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

1 (13.8-ounce) tube refrigerated pizza crust
¾ cup mild buffalo wing sauce, divided
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups finely shredded cheddar cheese
1 ½ cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
Shredded meat from 1 slow-cooked chicken
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped

­1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
­2. Unroll pizza crust onto a lightly greased 15- x 10- x 1-inch baking pan. Flatten dough and build up edges slightly.
­3. Bake for 7 minutes.
­4. Brush dough with 3 tablespoons buffalo wing sauce.
­5. Heat black beans in a covered microwave-safe bowl for 2 minutes or until warmed through.
­6. Combine cheddar and mozzarella cheeses; sprinkle 1 cup of cheese mixture over pizza crust.
­7. In a large bowl, combine shredded chicken, garlic powder, chili powder, cracked black pepper, black beans and chopped tomato. Add the remaining buffalo wing sauce. Spoon mixture over crust.
­8. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 18-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

Written and photographed by Kristen Doyle

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